More investigations into role-playing games (mostly to plunder them for ideas) led me to a couple of re-writes of the original Dungeons and Dragons game (the red and blue books! Remember?) The games are Labyrinth Lord and Swords & Wizardry (White Box Rules). And you know what? Original D&D sucks. Badly.
There are horrible tables (attack roll tables?!), saving throws, experience points, ability scores, spell levels, Vancian magic systems, alignments, arbitrary weapon restrictions (as if clerics don't shed blood, come on! The crusades, anyone?), etc.
The idea of moving away from D&D 3rd and 4th edition is a good one. Not moving back to AD&D 1st or 2nd edition is also a good idea. But moving back to original D&D? Not a good idea.
What the authors should have done: Taken the idea of "simple" and applied reasoning to it. Take the nostalgia and remould it into a simple and yet modern RPG. The great thing that original D&D has over 4th edition D&D is evocation. Reading about Charm Person is a lot more evocative than reading about Ray of Enfeeblement. These OD&D games have the evocation but they're extremely tedious, power-gamey and complex.
Who are these RPGs even aimed at? I can't imagine how anyone new to the past-time would be even slightly intrigued by the complexity and weirdness of the books. They're not logical nor do they create a space for players to envision their characters. Therefore, I can only imagine that the new releases are for old-school players. If that's the case, why wouldn't we just grab our old red and blue books from the attic, basement, parents' house, siblings' house, etc.? I know I could, but I'm not going to.